A Look Back At X-Wing
A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away….well, to be more precise, the year 1993, I was honoured to play a game that is in my opinion one of the best space flight simulators ever to grace a PC or console. I am of course talking about the magnificent X-Wing.
The first time I ever played the game I was staying with my grandad for the week. He was always one of the first people to have the latest tech, and with computers being no exception he also shared my passion for gaming. On this trip he had a little surprise waiting for me,and as soon as I saw the box my excitement grew as if it were Christmas Day. I loaded the game for the first time and was greeted by the rolling text we’ve all come to know and love. The main theme from the films kicked in. I was on cloud nine! A rush of nostalgia bitch-slapped me in the face. I knew I was in for something special.
Upon joining the Rebels as a pilot, the game sees you take control of various spacecraft from the films. You’re given missions intended to help the Rebels fight the imperial forces.The main craft you get to fly are the A-Wing, Y-Wing and of course the games’ namesake the X-Wing. There are three campaigns to play through, each with a strong narrative, following the events in Star Wars IV: A New Hope. This journey will take you through varied missions from simple dog fighting to escorting or capturing freighters.
This was one of the first games I ever played with a full 3D graphics engine. So for the first time I experienced an unparalleled feeling of actually being immersed within the Star Wars Universe. Add to this feeling the beautiful hand drawn cut scenes and music which ramped-up along with the on-screen action, and you get a sense of how great this game really is. The controls worked like a charm and really made you feel like you were at the helm of a starfighter. Yet what I really loved about this game were the little strategies you could use throughout the missions. Losing your rear shield? No worries, you could divert power from your engines and weapons systems…giving you some much needed time to get away from your foes. With a little bit of quick thinking and inginuity I could pull some Han-style ‘manoeuvres’ to turn the tide in my favour.
That wasn’t all though, for you could issue commands to your wing men, allowing for a deeper sense of realism. I felt as if I were being sucked into this marvelous universe and I didn’t want to leave. Playing through the campaign however, nothing could have prepared for me for the final mission. It was the icing on the cake- the attack on the original Death Star! Adrenaline fuelled through my system as my squadron leader ordered us to “lock our S-Foils into attack position”. Being part of such an iconic movie moment bought home just how much potential video games had when tied in with a movie franchise. The realisation hit me like a thunder cracker in the nuts. This truly was the future.
X-Wing is still to this day arguably one of the best movie tie in games ever to be created. Granted, if you play it now the graphics do look their age. However the actual fun to be had and the depth of the game still shines through when compared to other titles. A true classic that will forever hold a special place in my Jedi heart!